DEMONSTRATION SKIING: MORE DYNAMIC THAN EVER

Team Dynamic is one of Ischgl Ski School’s three show teams. When the ski school’s demo show sets off down the Prennerhang this evening, they will of course be a part of it. We’ve spoken to the guys – and we know why this year’s show is even more spectacular than ever before.

Short swings. Long swings. Parallel swings. And then suddenly the whole group is skiing together in a mirrored formation, changing its position in the line of the slope, with the ones on the left skiing right and those on the right skiing left. Then they carry on. First short, then long, then back again. All of this at tremendous speed, of course. If anyone makes a mistake, turns in the wrong direction or, even more stupidly, gets airborne, then the guy behind him has no chance to brake.

This is demo skiing runs – also called formation skiing -, it’s pretty spectacular, and if you want to see it live, you just need to go to the Prennerhang this evening at 9.30pm. The Ischgl Ski School demo teams will be showing what they can do. And Christoph Jehle, Simon Otten and the rest of the Dynamics will be a part of it.

Christoph and the other Dynamics are there as the wild young things – they don’t just ski in Ischgl, but also on the Swiss side in the Samnaun demo shows. And they take part in competitions – in the Austrian Ski Instructors Championship in spring 2018, they came third. Last year they were not as successful due to injuries and the absence of some of the team, but this year they’re ready to take off. “We’re going to train a whole lot more again,” says Simon Otten. “This year we’re all really getting stuck in and want to make a go of it.”

A formation always consists of six skiers. But as someone might have to drop out sometimes, the Dynamics consist of seven people, so there’s always a potential replacement. They also have to be well integrated in the team. Because in formation skiing, says Christoph, “you need a degree of trust in the group, you have to rely on the fact that no one will make a mistake.” The Dynamics develop this trust during long training sessions, and it can take a good month until they have a choreography, Christoph tells us. “You just have to have the turns in your head, you have to know the order in which it all happens. And of course you have to be able to keep count!”

How do you learn to do it? With a range of different tricks, including going through the whole choreography from the very beginning. A kind of dry run, like in a dance school. Only then can you go out onto the snow. But it’s still far from certain that everything will work in sync straightaway, even though nothing is left to chance. This is why the Dynamics all use the exact same skis – and although the guys are of different heights, all the skis are the same length. Christoph says: “For it to work, the skis all need to have the same radius, otherwise you have no chance.” The skis they use, which are provided by Sport Zangerl, are racing slalom skis. Christoph: “They are ideal for short radiuses”. But there’re not suitable for normal skiing – let alone for deep snow.

All the runs look spectacular. But how are they marked in competitions? (just in case anyone wants to play the expert and make clever comments in the finishing area at the Prennerhang this evening – Ed.). In formation skiing, the judges mark for synchronicity, formation, speed and technique. And alongside their own show choreography, there’s also what’s known as a compulsory run, like in figure skating. This is where all the participating teams receive a video showing a formation run a few weeks before the competition. Everyone has to ski this choreography, and the judges can use the “compulsory” as the basis of their evaluation.

That’s not what we’ll be seeing from Christoph and the Dynamics this evening, though. Instead, it will be just show, show and more show!

You can see the Dynamics, the other three teams from the Ischgl Ski School, spectacular snowboarders and many more fantastic stunt performances at the Ischgl Ski School Demo Show, at 21:30 this evening at the Prennerhang.